When Pitchshifter went on hiatus around 2002, Jim found himself doing another stint with The Prodigy, plus playing on 2004 album, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. He also worked with vocalist Keith Flint on his punk side-project, Flint, playing a handful of gigs, including Download in 2003. But with maturity came a rethink about where he was going, and Jim began concentrating on solo albums and session work.
“Bear in mind, I'd been playing in bands at quite a high level since I was 21,” says Jim. “I didn't want to be doing bands in my 50s and 60s, so I ended up doing film and TV – still doing the music I enjoyed but without having to tour. Back then, I was only ever a guitarist, but over the last 10 years, I've learned how to produce and mix, and that why I wanted to do this album. For the first time, I've done something entirely myself. Obviously, I was always going to go back to the electronic rock stuff, because that's what I'm into, but I think the album sounds quite different.”
As such, the new album, Headwars, is a culmination of experience and talent: a bold mix of rock and electronica, that features his old Pitchshifter band mates MD Clayden and Jason Bowld (now with Bullet For My Valentine). The title, however, refers to the internal struggle of self-doubt and overanalysing the past – the aforementioned headfucks of the former bands.
“The album sounds exactly how I wanted it to sound,” says Jim, “and there was no pressure, because I knew I wasn't going to do any gigs. But, yeah, I did my own head in, like, maybe I could have done that better.
"I used to beat myself up about it, and it got to the point, about a year ago, where I had to go and see this life coach. I'd built this successful career, but I felt like a lot of stuff was unresolved. He was like, 'You're living in the past and you have to let it go.' It was a headfuck for me playing on those massive singles, being so young, but he's like, 'You should look back on it as something really cool.'
And indeed it is, Jim, indeed it is.
Headwars is out now.